Shelter in Place

Shelter in Place

We’re all in this together, or out of it (the public?) together depending on the way you look at it? With everything going on in the world with COVID–19 we’ve been asked to stay at home as much as we can to mitigate the spread of the virus. After sheltering in place for a week and working from home I’ve noted a few things I’ve found essential to do and keep in the home. I know the internets are pretty full right now with these ideas but these really are some key takeaways I’ve noted in the last week.

Use a pressure cooker

If you don’t have one of these already – you really need one. Sure you’re stuck at home all day so in theory you can use a slow cooker because supposedly time is on your side, but in my experience the evening still rolls around after dealing with kids and work – that the need to pressure cook a pork shoulder really quick is absolutely necessary.

Go on a walk

We’re all working from hope but that doesn’t mean you can’t go outside (yet). I’ve tried to still move as much as possible while being stuck at home and that includes taking calls outside and going on walks. I typically would do this at work anyway so carrying it over to working from home is a no brainer. If you have a phone call you have to be on – go outside – synthesize vitamin d and move around at a slow pace.

Make bone broth

If you have an instant pot or not you can finally take a stab at making some bone broth. You can follow this recipe to make one in an instant pot or you can follow this recipe to make it the low and slow way in a Lodge dutch oven. It’ll help boost your immunity, the collagen will help you sleep better and it’s just a fun thing to do. Now’s the time to take stab at it.

Ferment something

Ferment something, anything. Make some kombucha. Ferment some pickles. Make some beet kvass. If you’re at home all day, you have the luxury of trying out some of these super old school ways of doing things. They’re really easy, they’re fun for the kids and they have really good health benefits because of the natural probiotics produced in the fermentation process.

Buy a whole animal

Who knows how long this thing is gonna go on, but I’m already being told I can’t buy the quantity of meat I want to buy. My grocery stores are limited to 2 packs of meat per person… that’s like 4 ribeyes. That’ll last me 2 days. I can’t keep going back to the store every other day so the best bet for me and you is to find a local farmer and purchase a whole animal. It’s the most cost effective way to purchase meat and you get to use every part of the animal this way. The best way to go about doing this is to check out the eat wild website and look for farmers and ranchers near you to develop relationships with to purchase a whole animal.

Rice, beans and corn tortillas won’t kill you

Look – I typically eat no carb or low carb but some days a taco or 5 really sound good. Eating a gluten free corn tortilla isn’t that many carbs and if you make your own, especially with this blue masa, it’s tasty and super healthy still. Eating white rice, basmati specifically, isn’t terrible either with its low GI. Beans can be a last resort but can also be fun to prepare if you prepare them the traditional way by soaking and then cooking up in some lard. You could be doing a lot worse. I wouldn’t make these a staple but on occasion throwing them into your sheltering in place routine can be a nice treat.

Sleep long

We don’t have to commute anymore. Sleep is so important. Take advantage of this time and put sleep as a priority. I can’t honestly say I’m succeeding in this area because I’ve been surfing in the morning instead of swimming like I typically do for “moving around at a slow pace” – but I kinda love surfing more than sleep. I know, I’m not taking my own advice, but if the surf looks terrible I’ll be taking myself up on my own advice.

Plan a garden

Again who knows how long we’ll be stuck inside. If you don’t have a garden yet now would be a good time to plan one and get it going for the spring. My advice is to be realistic and plant only the things you know you’ll want to eat or consume on a regular basis. What does that look like for my family? Kale, spinach, dill, cilantro, squash, strawberries, blueberries, citrus trees. Just take a look at what you typically buy and make a plan to try to be ever so self sustaining. If you live in Southern California – I’ve found this book to be a great resource.

Make some art

Where would we be without art?! Lol well I may be a little biased considering I have a BFA in Graphic Design. I’ve literally taken more art classes than math, history and literature combined. While you’re confined to your home try to make some art. Then one day you’ll be able to look back and remember this time that you were confined to your home, for what probably seems like an eternity, and have an art piece set in time to remember the quarantine. Van Gogh painted some of his best and most well known works, Starry Night and Irises, when he was stuck in a mental institution after cutting off his own ear – is that bad to relate our stay at home order to Van Gogh’s time in a mental institution? Either way, all good art has stories behind them, this could be your time to do the same thing. Paint a picture, build something, do some graphic design, draw with chalk on the sidewalk with your kids – just go make something from nothing.

Enjoy family

As cheesy as it sounds – we’ll never get this time back – a friend reminded me of this the other day and it really is true. Unfortunate as it is with the whole world getting sick with this virus, it’s placed the rest of us in a unique situation where we have no other option than being stuck at home. We can either make the most of it or let it drive us mad. We should try as best as we can to see this as a unique opportunity with our family and make memories with them because once it’s all over (hopefully someday) we’ll look back on this time and wish we had it back. As Andy once famously said on The Office – “I wish there was a way to know you were in the good old days before you actually left them”.


These are just a few things that I’ve noted this last week. If you have any ideas on what’s helping you get through the quarantine – feel free to share them in the comments below. Stay primal, healthy and safe everyone!

That’s So Primal Prime Day 2019

That's So Primal Prime Day 2019 header

I typically like putting together a nice primal shopping list for Christmas. I didn’t end up doing that this last year, so instead I’d thought I’d put together a mid year That’s So Primal Prime Day 2019 shopping list. Hopefully everyone has some spare time right now since it’s summer so I thought I’d put together a list of a bunch of fun things that I would enjoy doing that have a primal twist on them and hope you may enjoy them too.

Echo Dot

I’ve written about how much we love our Echo Dot in the kitchen. Our whole family literally uses it everyday multiple times a day. We use it for a bunch of different stuff but I have to say hands down the best thing is adding things to a shopping list. When I’m out of something I shout, “Alexa, add butter to the shopping list”. Then when I’m in the store, I just check my alexa app for what I need. When I see people shopping with little pieces of paper with their shopping list I cry inside because they’re stuck in 1996.
Amazon Link

Hydro Flask

Everyone should have a stainless steel water bottle. Why? So you can drink stuff throughout the day, duh – but for real these are great because they keep coffee hot for a super long time and keep water cold for a really long time too. Not only that but if you like to drink essential oils with your water, like we do in our house, you’ll need to do it in a stainless steel bottle since the oils can leech chemicals from plastic bottles.
Amazon Link

Mushroom Kit

Looking for something fun to do this summer? Grow some mushrooms! Well I guess you can do that any time of year but if you haven’t done this yet, you should. You can set it up indoors on your counter and watch them grow and once they start going you can trim them off and cook them up to add with your eggs or steak or just throw them in your salad raw. It’s up to you!
Amazon Link

Slackline

If you don’t have a slackline yet you really should. I got one a couple years ago and I use it all the time. I take it on vacations and camping with us. It’s so easy to set up and it provides such a fun thing to do. I’m still working on getting my kids to do it, but in a few years they’ll be pros. My backyard has very small trees so if you don’t have trees you’ll need something like this with an anchor in the ground.
Amazon Link

SPF Shirt

I haven’t worn sunscreen for the last several years. Read this Chris Kresser article about the toxicity of sunscreen for my reasons why. Now that’s not to say sun protection isn’t important. It’s very important, but so is Vitamin D. So once you’ve been out in the sun long enough to get adequate levels of vitamin D synthesis, throw on something over your skin like this SPF shirt (or this one if you’re a girl) and enjoy the outdoors without the toxicity of sunscreen and without a sunburn.
Amazon Link

Kombucha Kit

Not interested in the mushroom kit? No worries, this is the next best thing to mess around with this summer (and beyond). Making your own Kombucha at home is not only easy and fun – but it’s way more cost effective to do this at home too. Buying store-bought kombucha will leave you broke when those bottles are like $5 a pop. Plus when you make your own at home you have total control over the flavoring. I love tossing in rosemary sprigs, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and doTERRA basil in the second ferment!
Amazon Link

Brazil Nuts

Brazil nuts are a really good source of selenium. An essential trace mineral that helps with cognitive function and fertility. It has a host of health benefits, but not only that, they taste great! You really only need a handful of 5 or so to get your daily dose of selenium. So pick some up, check it out and enjoy.
Amazon Link

Sardines

If you haven’t eaten sardines yet – now’s the time. Seriously if you haven’t tried sardines what’s stopping you? They’re great for your health, cheap and fill you up! They don’t taste fishy or anything. My daughter wanted some of mine the other day when we were camping and she ate it and said it tastes like chicken. So if a 3 year old can do it, so can you!
Amazon Link

Cold Brew Coffee Maker

Ok, I’m not a cold brew coffee fan at all. I literally have never had cold brew. I love black coffee hot BUT this post is for you guys and I know people love cold brew and I saw this and thought it was a great way to make it at home and not give Starbucks all your money. It’s the perfect thing to beat the heat of summer and it looks super easy to make at home.
Amazon Link

Kindle Paperwhite

Reading is good for you. And so is sitting around a pool. Well now you can do both of those things with this Kindle Paperwhite because it’s waterproof. If you already read kindle books on your phone like I do, this is really a no brainier to have a dedicated reading device you can toss in your bag so you can read anywhere – the beach, pool, river, backyard, etc… I’m not sure if you’ve ever tried to read or look at your phone outdoors for an extended period of time, but it’s terrible. You can’t see the screen and my phone gets blazing hot. This is the perfect solution.
Amazon Link


Alright guys, there it is. I hope these few things sparked your interest to try something new this summer and to get outdoors. Let me know in the comments below if you have any other good primal Prime Day deals or summer ideas. Take care!

10 Weird Primal Things I Do

10 Weird Primal Things I Do

Over the course of being primal for the past 7+ years, I’ve realized that along the way I’ve picked up some pretty weird habits that if you had no idea I was following this primal lifestyle – you would think I was a complete weirdo. All these things I do I’ve picked up from various blogs and research so I don’t claim them as my own, but I feel they really have become so apart of my life that I wanted to put together a list. So here are 10 Weird Primal Things I Do:

1. I put trace minerals in my water with some Himalayan salt

The only thing I really drink is water. Therefore I pay a lot of attention to the taste of my water and the mineral content. I pay particular attention to my mineral consumption when I am swinging on a more keto primal diet because when you’re on keto you need to make sure you’re getting sufficient levels of trace minerals like potassium, magnesium and sodium. So I’ve been using concentrace minerals in my Nalgene bottles with a pinch of Himalayan salt to make sure I’m getting all I need. It makes the water taste great and it ensures you’re getting all the minerals you may be missing from other areas of your diet.

2. I drink potato starch

Resistant starch plays a pretty big role in maintaining and building your gut health. Think of it like food for your gut bacteria. If you’re taking or eating probiotics (which you should) and not giving the bacteria sufficient food to eat then you’re really just wasting the probiotics. After doing a bunch of reading here I determined that it’s best to periodically work in potato starch in my diet as a good form of resistant starch. You should start out slow if you’re not used to it so that you don’t get stomach cramps or bloating. Working up to 4Tbsp is a good goal to reach for. I just mix it with tap water and drink it as fast as possible. You can mix it with a splash of vanilla extract and stevia to make it more palatable – and it sorta tastes like horchata that way too!

3. I eat spoonfulls of coconut butter

I rarely get hungry in between my two meals from lunch to dinner but if I do get hungry I like reaching for a jar of coconut butter. You can buy this one or make a homemade one like I’ve written about here. But these do a really good job at curbing hunger by giving you a nice dose of saturated fat. I also like this brand if the budget affords it.

4. I drink butter coffee

You probably see this all over the place now so maybe it’s not so weird if you see me do it. Now I don’t do this all the time but I do work it into my diet occasionally if I’m needing that extra boost of energy at work from working out too hard or not getting enough sleep. I use about 2Tbsp of Kerrygold salted butter (I like salt ok), collagen and a splash of mct oil then I blend it together with this. This really isn’t weird, it’s basically a latte where you get to control the quantity and quality of the fat and the quality of the coffee. I’d rather have a bulletproof coffee anytime rather than a latte from Starbucks – gross.

5. I eat crickets

I’ve written about my love for insects many times on this blog. I’ve even put together this recipe recently that uses grasshoppers. But this concept is genuinely weird to people I know but man do I love Exo cricket protein bars. Crickets are such a good source of protein that contain all the vitamins, minerals and nutrients that we need – and – they taste great. Pick some up and try for yourself.

6. I use a squatty potty

We have these in every restroom in our house and every time we have guests over they think we are just so weird. Then I tell them to try pooping with it and then they look at me even weirder. But man these are great. The only way you’ll know is if you try one ourself yourself. Go ahead and do it. They help you go quicker and more efficiently and they are good for your health. Every home should be using these and I’ve been half tempted to start using them at work too.

7. I only wear barefoot shoes

This is something I adopted early on when I first went primal and I literally donated all my other shoes. I only wear Vivobarefoot. Allowing your feet to spread naturally and feel the ground has cured my plantar fasciitis. I literally have no pain in my feet at all. When I first started working and wearing dress shoes all day my feet and arches would hurt so bad. I tried everything and nothing helped until I got Vivobarefoot shoes. I wear these to work so they’re dressy but they’re flat and allow my feet to feel the ground. Then I wear more casual ones when I’m not at work. I get weird looks sometimes sure because they don’t look like any other shoes but my feet feel amazing and I wouldn’t trade that for something that looks cooler but kills my feet. No thank you.

8. I eat canned sardines and oysters

I really loved canned fish and shellfish. It’s so easy to eat, tastes great and fills you up. Two particular ones I like are sardines and oysters. People give me weird looks all the time when I tell them I eat these and if they see me eating these they look at me even weirder – primarily because they smell terrible. But then I tell them they just need to try them. They’re not as bad as they smell. Not only do they taste great but they are so good for you. Sardines have tons of calcium, which is sometimes hard to pick up on a Paleo diet and oysters have a ton of B vitamins and various other minerals.

9. I make broccoli sprouts

This is one of those things that people see in my house and they think I’ve gone off the deep end. But broccoli sprouts are so cheap and easy to make at your house it’s like a no brainer. I make these because they contain a bunch of anti cancer properties – much more than just whole broccoli. 1 pound of sprouts contains as much sulforaphane as 100 pounds of whole broccoli. Sulforaphane is the antioxidant that aids your body in fighting cancer. I use these seeds and these jars and you can follow this super easy guide to grow some yourself. I normally eat them straight out of the jar or on the side with my bacon and eggs.

10. I make my own kombucha

This is another one that people see me making in my house when we have guests and they are like what is that slime in that jar over there on the corner of your counter?! But making kombucha at home is much cheaper than buying the $6 bottles at the health food store. Not only is it cheaper but you have much more control on the second ferment with what you add. I love adding mixed berries, herbs and ginger. If you don’t have a scoby you can get this one and this jar and be on your way to making your own kombucha. There are a ton of guides out there to making your own kombucha but here is an easy one to follow. It’s super easy, fun and great for your health. Try it today for yourself!


That’s it folks! Thanks for reading and I hope by now that you too think I’m pretty weird with my primal ways, but now you at least know the reasoning behind all the weird primal things I do. I encourage you to try out some of the weird things listed above and let me know which weird things you do too!